Monday, October 30, 2017

6 Years + 715 Postcards sent on Postcrossing; Why I'm Still Doing It

 (The 23 postcards I'm mailing off tomorrow to 15 different countries)

 6 Years.


I can't believe I've been doing since 2011.

I've sent 715 postcards and received 714 postcards from 49 different counties, 55 different countries in total.

There are many times I've considered quitting.  It's expensive when you really get going, and finding postcards isn't always easy.  715 postcards, how much money would that equate to when taking postage into account and the price of the postcards?  Is it worth it?  Honestly, I think so.

I like connecting and learning about so many different people from all around the world.  Good, honest people living good honest lives. And it's a lot of fun sending postcards, and picking out the kind of postcard the person I'm sending to would like.  And the stamps!  Two forever stamps + an extra ounce stamp = international postage.  So much more fun than sending an international forever stamp.  I just love stamps.  Those solar eclipse stamps that came out recently are the best.

I don't know how long I'll keep it up, especially since Hallmark, where I've been getting my postcards, are discontinuing them, so I need to find a new place to get tourist postcards that doesn't require driving up to Salt Lake.

Still this is such a fun hobby, sending to and receiving postcards from people who love snail mail as much as I in this digital World we now live in.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Awesome Sauce, For Real, But really, just the Funny Things We Say. Wendy's.

Awesome Sauce!

It's something I say, on occasion, when I really like something, or simply approve.

There's also Crazy Sauce.

Because sauce can be both awesome and crazy, sometimes at the same time.  But, as far as I know, there isn't a scary sauce, or freaky sauce, or stupid sauce, just sauce of the crazy and awesome variety.

Just a couple days ago I was thinking about this.  Thinking of some of the expressions that are time or era specific.  Some phrases that are still in style in the States, such as calling something awesome or cool, or people Dude, stuff like that.  And then other words that have passed, such as Rad, though I personally have never called something rad.  And now I want to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles . . .

Back to awesome sauce.

I was thinking about it, and wondering how popular or unpopular it was.  It's a phrase that became popular here in Utah.  Or maybe to close friends and family?  I haven't a clue!  Though I was watching T.V. once and heard someone say Awesome Sauce on a show, which leads me to believe that this saying is popular elsewhere.

Out of curiosity I looked up the origin of Awesome Sauce, and according to Urban Dictionary it might have started with Strong Bad, on, with the email video "Funny," where awesome sauce is mentioned as a cleaning product.  (I haven't visited that site in forever!  Brings back memories. It used to be quite popular, especially in these parts, which might explain how Awesome Sauce took off locally.)

Anywho, I went to Wendy's to get some chicken nuggets, and they offered awesome sauce.  So now it's a real thing, only it's referred to as "Side of S'awesome Sauce."  I don't understand that "S".  Also, I have no idea if periods are supposed to be inside or outside quotation marks.

Awesome sauce, it turns out, tastes like a creamy, tangy sweet BBQ sauce.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Importance of Classical Music; BYU Getting Rid of Classical Music on Classical 89

When I was a kid I loved listening to classical music.  There was a station in California's central valley that played all the greats, and I remember my brother Michael actually falling asleep listening to the station all the time.  It was a nice break from all the soft listening during the 80's that filled the airways, and though I still love a good 80's tune, Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach will always be the masters I keep returning to.  Then, all of a sudden, this classical station I listened to as a child went off the air.  No idea what happened, or why, but we all in my family felt the loss.  I was this elementary kid missing Handel and Mahler, though I didn't know their names at the time, I just missed the music.

Fast forward to today.  A few days ago it was announced that BYU was consolidating and changing up BYU radio and BYU tv.  They're getting rid of their PBS shows, which doen't bother me because we already have a PBS station, and the two stations were showing the same programing.  Now our PBS station will increase in viewership and donations, which is a good thing.  Big Bird ain't going nowhere.

The second announcement pertaining to Classical 89 is what so many people are upset over.  Two petitions on started making the rounds.  Save Classical 89! has now closed with 10,509 signers.  Stop the Elimination of Classical 89 is still open with 3,698 signers.

The station isn't struggling, from what I've read, and there's a very strong listening base.  BYU apparently wants to merge their other station which plays on SiriusXM with Classical 89.  Sadly a void will be created locally as this station is the only one that plays classical music on FM.  Apparently there's an HD station that plays classical music, but I don't have an HD radio, and I don't really know anyone that does.  There's always streaming other classical stations, but that requires a stable Wifi or internet connection, which a lot of people have at home, just not out driving.

It's interesting, if anything this has shown me the power of FM radio.  That even with technology many of us still listen to it.  I have many friends who are upset over the elimination of Classical 89, being daily listeners.  It's also nice seeing how many people love and listen to classical music.

I will always be an advocate for the classics.  I missed having a local classical radio station as a kid.  I remember complaining over its absence many times.  My passion in music is so strong that I ended up going to BYU Provo to earn a music degree.  It's sad that the school I spent hours upon hours studying Mendelssohn, Satie, and Schubert will be losing their classical radio station.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Do Everything With Love

"...'What if our only motive were love? What if everything we did, we did out of love?'...We can even do good things with less than laudable motives.... Motives matter.... It's important to remember that we should not try to judge another's motives.  But we can judge our own motives.  We need to look inside and take stock.  Are we doing what we do out of love?  Or has some other motive taken over?" 

~ Russell T. Osguthorpe, March 2011

I found this quote yesterday while watching a video--Zandra Vraney: What If Our Only Motive Was Love?--and it hit straight to the heart.  There's definitely more I can do than I am doing currently, but when I do help others where is my focus? My motivation?  I hope it's pure.  But even I find myself going through the motions sometimes.  When it comes to helping my Grandpa, for instance, who is gradually getting worse, I help him sometimes out of obligation and routine instead of love.

Love is so important and motives do matter.

If we focus on love instead of something else, I think our mindset would change.  I think we would change, overall, for the better.  And I think, if there are things we need to do but struggle with, love would help.

Do all things with Love.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Reminiscing Over Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

This was the last day of a 6 day trip to Walt Disney World, this day falling on June 12, 2016, and the second time I visited the Magic Kingdom that trip.  My Mom and I choose to make the Magic Kingdom the bookends of our trip, and it was a good way to finish our visit.

The rest of the words from this blog come from what I wrote in the Shutterfly book highlighting the trip I made.  (BTW, I highly recommend Shutterfly, or other similar sites, that turn photos into books.  So worth it.  Treasures, always.  My nieces have actually fallen asleep at bedtime with the books I've made them of past trips, and they remember the trips better because of it.)

"What a wonderfully fun day this was!  Our very last day at Disney World and we wanted to return to the Magic Kingdom.  Taking everything in, including the castle, we wandered down Main Street.  We did so much that day.  First we returned to Columbia Harbour House for lunch.  Mom ate the fish & chips again.  I tried the chicken pot pie with a side of broccoli.

 (not sure how I feel about the finger print scanners)


 "After this we hopped in line for the Haunted Mansion, which had a decently short line.  The room with the stairs was neat.  And then we road the Mark Twain around beautiful Tom Sawyer Island."

 "The weather predicted that in the afternoon we were going to be slammed by rain fall that would last until evening.  I was worried so many things were going to be canceled.  I kept checking the weather on my phone seeing a huge rain system nearing on the radar, which made me nervous, but I wanted to enjoy each moment.  After the steam boat ride we noticed rope was being set up early for the 3 o'clock parade, Festival of Fantasy.  I got a front row seat right up to the rope.  Mom sat close to the pin store atop a short pillar of bricks.  I loved the parade!  And then we bought too many pins!"

 "We went on the Jungle Cruise, which had a cool dark room scene at the end.  Waited in the long line for Space Mountain, which made us both queasy.  Then we went to Fantasyland to ride Journey of the Little Mermaid."


 "For dinner we ate pasta at Pinocchio Village Haus,
watching people load It's a Small World.

"After dinner we causally walked through Fantasyland.  We tried to walk through the castle, but it was blocked for the Electrical Parade, so we took a quaint stroll around the glowing pink castle.  The air pleasant, calm, and still.  No hint of a storm.  A miracle as I watched the storm circle around the park, dark streaks brushing the sky."

 "We didn't get a good view of the electrical parade, but got an amazing view of Celebrate the Magic, a castle light projection show, and Wishes.  Mom returned to the Pandora store while the Electrical parade made its second pass.  This time I got a very good view, enjoying the nostalgia."

"We pulled another all-nighter.  We left the Magic Kingdom around 11:30 pm.  This park is the furthest from the hotel and we still had to wait for the bus, so we got back past midnight.

"Going to bed didn't make sense.  The texi was coming at 3:30 am so we could make it to the airport by 4 am for a 6:15 flight.  We turned on the T.V., never getting under the covers, and packed away cloths and goodies.  We bought so many souvenirs!  It's amazing we were able to pack it all away in our limited luggage space.

"We left the hotel while it was dark, so exhausted by the whirlwind, amazed how quickly it flew by.  Sad to be leaving, but so glad we were finally able to experience Disney World.  We'll miss the Disney magic, but won't miss the humidity.  What an amazing week."

What wonderful memories.

I would love to return one day.

And my Walt Disney World posts are FINALLY finished! :D